Not in a good position for long

MINNEAPOLIS — When David Ortiz homered to left center in the eighth inning to tie it up, many Red Sox fans were probably figuring good things would follow.

The Sox have been efficient at coming back all season, especially lately.

But when Jon Lester came out out for the bottom of the eighth inning (at 106 pitches) and promptly walked Joe Mauer, that was a sign.

“It doesn’t matter what team it is in the big leagues. If you give them plenty of opportunities, they’re going to take care of them,” Lester would say after a 5-2 loss.


Lester’s fifth walk matched his career high and it proved to be his undoing. Jim Thome slammed an RBI double to left and then the wheels fell off when Alfredo Aceves came in.

On a night when his bullpen was better rested, Terry Francona might have sent Matt Albers or Daniel Bard out there instead to start the inning. But the Sox have been leading hard on those guys of late. They didn’t have Jonathan Papelbon, either.

Lester will get an extra day off (or two) before his next start, so Francona took a shot at extending him.

“I thought he still had very good stuff,” Francona said. “That really wasn’t an issue.”

Instead Lester fell to 11-6. Inexplicably, he is 0-3 in Minnesota and has allowed 16 earned runs in 23.2 innings. He must not like the walleye.

The Sox, who had won four straight, are off tomorrow after playing 20 games in 20 days. They won 13 of those games and came away with the same lead in the division they had when they started, 1.5 games.

Off to Seattle tomorrow and a day off. We’ll have some updates on the blog, hopefully.

Thanks to everybody for reading today.

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